4.77 from 13 votes
Grown Up Macaroni and Cheese
Ultimate Make Ahead Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
Ultimate Make Ahead Macaroni and Cheese is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, but easy enough to serve during the week. It's creamy, cheesy goodness makes it the ultimate comfort food for any time!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 904 kcal
Author: Chula King
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt divided
  • 16 ounces dried elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/3 cups (10 ounces) Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Bring large pot of water with 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water; drain completely.
  3. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot; whisk in the flour. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Whisk in the milk and cook for several more minutes, until bubbly and thickened.
  4. Remove pan from heat; add 3 cups of the Cheddar cheese, all of the Gruyère cheese, 1/2 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until all of the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy and smooth.

  5. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

  6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; mix the Panko bread crumbs.

  7. Top macaroni and cheese with remaining 1-1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese and Panko bread crumbs mixed with butter.

  8. May be prepared in advance up to this point and refrigerated.

  9. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  10. Yield: 6 to 8 Servings.
Nutrition Facts
Ultimate Make Ahead Macaroni and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 904 Calories from Fat 477
% Daily Value*
Fat 53g82%
Saturated Fat 33g165%
Cholesterol 158mg53%
Sodium 2233mg93%
Potassium 426mg12%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 1655IU33%
Calcium 971mg97%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.